Rafael Duarte

Chevening Officer

Part of Speakers' Corner

12th March 2014 Brasilia, Brazil

Be a Leader – A Chevening Experience

Today Alisson Braga, one of our Brazilian Chevening Scholars currently in the UK, will take over the blog. He attended an event organized by the FCO and HSBC bank in London last week. His words show not only how special foreign students are, but how the Chevening Scholars’ experience in the UK goes beyond the British universities. 

Chevening HSBC Day
Alisson Braga visits the FCO as part of the Chevening HSBC Day

We started the day with a visit to the world headquarters of HSBC, located in the business district of Canary Wharf, in London. We learned about the history and values of this global financial institution that has around 60 million clients in 80 countries. The main focus of the meeting was the bank’s strategies for environmental protection. Deputy Head of Group Corporate Sustainability Francis Sullivan described some of the bank’s initiatives which include a partnership with an NGO for the protection of rivers, as well as a programme that aims at reducing carbon emission from their offices around the world. The importance of sustainability for the maintenance of the economy and for the society well-fare was also discussed.

We then headed to the beautiful historical FCO building in Westminster, for a lecture on Public Diplomacy. We were greeted by Director of Engagement and Communication Hugh Elliot, who spoke about FCO actions that go beyond traditional diplomacy. According to the representative, the creation and the execution of efficient foreign policy is done through the establishment of broad networking between the government, companies and civil society, as well as through the promotion of transparency. He pointed out the importance of social networking in that process. After the lecture, a debate was held on the role of diplomacy in society.

The third activity of the day was a visit to the Houses of Parliament, where the world famous Big Ben clock tower is located. We had the opportunity to visit both Parliament chambers, – the House of the Commons and the House of the Lords – and to hear an explanation on the country’s legislative process. The day’s programme ended with a networking reception with FCO employees, HSBC executives and Chevening Scholars. I had the great opportunity to meet Brazil’s Desk Officer for the FCO Ms. Lorna Pugh, and we talked about bilateral relations between the UK and Brazil, regarding commerce and investments. Furthermore, we also exchanged impressions of the British experience with the last Olympic Games, and Brazil’s preparations for hosting the mega event in 2016.

About Rafael Duarte

Rafael Duarte is the Chevening Officer in Brazil since June, when he joined the embassy team. Previously he worked for 7 years as a professor in many universities in Brasilia…

Rafael Duarte is the Chevening Officer in Brazil since June, when he joined the embassy team. Previously he worked for 7 years as a professor in many universities in Brasilia and also as advisor for the Ministry of Health of Brazil. He is a specialist in International Cooperation, Science, Technology and Innovation and Foreign Policy. Born in the Brasilia, he also loves to play his percussion in jazz, samba and pop concerts with friends across the city.

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